Talk:Uzbin Valley ambush

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US involvement?[edit]

I see that the US had some men, I can't say I saw anything about them on the French news, can we have some reference on their involvement, where are they from? FFMG (talk) 17:42, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

"Perhaps a hundred of the insurgents, well armed and well trained, attacked a NATO reconnaissance patrol made up of French infantry and commando units, a contingent of American Special Forces and elements of the Afghan Army."[1] French sources also mention "Quelques forces spéciales américaines, chargées de l’appui aérien"[2]. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 18:47, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, we need to add those kind of references to the article. FFMG (talk) 19:05, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
US supply TACP ( JTAC + radio operator + few SF for security )for the initial mission, and another JTAC was send in the evening. --Suoo (talk) 02:33, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunadly the JTAC was in training ... and could not provide a complete targeting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suoo (talkcontribs) 02:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Also, there was USAF air support reported Chwyatt (talk) 08:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

VAB's didnt used AA-52 (or anyway, it would have been ANF-1 instead) but M2HB .50 cal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


I never read a article that needed so many citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Outcome should be called ‘inconclusive’[edit]

Neither side achieved any significant objective. And Taliban loses are unknown. Chwyatt (talk) 12:48, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Wow, well, didn't I see this one coming... Actually, the result was in favour of the taliban for several reasons:
  • I don't really get "both sides withdrew". Obviously, the insurgents withdrew, they are a guerilla force, after all, so they use hit-and-run tactics. The relevant event here is that ISAF was forced to call off their patrol in Uzbin valley, due to heavy losses. This means that a Taliban action interrupted a NATO maneuver, thus achieving a notable, if limited, military success.
  • Concerning the Taliban losses, I don't see that they change anything. The highest claim was made by the French defense minister: 30 killed and 30 wounded(the Taliban claim only 5 KIA). Even if this is true, the Taliban have access to plenty more recruits in the madrassas of Pakistan, and among disgruntled Afghan youths, so they would be more than willing to lose three times more men in order to cause grief to NATO, is which precisely what they did(once again this was the heaviest combat loss for NATO in a number of years).
  • In addition, the attack caused Sarkozy to come hotfooting out to Kabul to justify his participation in the war, giving a wide political resonance to a small skirmish. The French public opinion, encouraged by a gloomy media, were shocked by this event. A lot of people don't understand what France is doing there anyway, and opinion polls show that a majority is in favour of France withdrawing its troops completely from A'stan[3]. The Taliban have undoubtedly scored a significant propaganda success. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 15:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
On point one, you have a point. A NATO patrol was forced to withdraw because of heavy losses. But then again, there have been dozens of allied patrols that have withdrawn because of unexpected resistance. In WW2 there were probably thousands. None of them warrant there own article. What is significant about this one is that it involved a prolonged firefight and significant loses. And French for that. So I am wondering now if this ambush really warrants its own page. It should get a mention in a Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2008 article.
For point two, a debate about recruits in Pakistan versus NATO manpower is a debate far outside the scope of this incident. That is far more strategic and political. As we don’t know how many Taliban were killed, we cannot know its immediate impact on Taliban operations in that area. And I don’t see any reason to see NATO operations as severely impacted on. Without knowing Taliban casualties, we cannot know if it’s a ‘victory’ or a ‘defeat’. So I believe it should still be ‘inconclusive’.
And for point three, I don’t think French public opinion has changed that much. A majority was in favour of withdrawal before this incident. And Gordon Brown made a visit to British troops after a patrol was hit by an IED recently. It is too soon for gauging impact on NATO of French policy.
If the Taliban’s ‘victory’ is halting a patrol. Then it is a short term, immediate and local victory. But we cannot gauge the Taliban’s losses, or the short-term, immediate and local impact of those loses, whatever they are. If the Taliban’s ‘victory’ is changing French policy, then we have to wait and see if there is a change on policy. Maybe for the info box, I propose Inconclusive: Heavy French loses. That would recognise the unknowns and the French loses. Chwyatt (talk) 10:38, 26 August 2008 (UTC) . 40 taliban "dead" the first day including 2 taliban leaders, 40 more the day after, the mountain pass was taken by night by another platoon of 8 RPIMa "Carmin 3" and taliban were chasing when the fled by US SF. About french policy no change, we just send more troop especially for intelligence. --Suoo (talk) 02:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Concerning the earlier proposal of merging the article into another, I can't see any reason for this: ehere is no pseudo-objective reason for creating an article about a military event, such as a supposed "military importance". Like all other wikipedia articles, its existence is justified by the notability of the subject. Per WP:N, notability is established by "significant coverage in reliable sources", and as this ambush made headline news in all the French national media, and also received considerable attention in the english-speaking media(BBC, Independent), this article perfectly conforms with that guideline. Raoulduke47 (talk) 16:59, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
"dozens of allied patrols that have withdrawn because of unexpected resistance. In WW2 there were probably thousands. None of them warrant there own article"? Err... when is it that the Taliban were promoted to being an enemy comparable to the Third Reich? That day certainly was a victory for them. Rama (talk) 14:14, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Also here: "indisputably, this is a failure", according to a note by a French "high-ranking general". Rama (talk) 15:17, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
There appear to be two versions of this event: one is the one given by the French army genaral staff, and general Puga in particular, who claims that the Taliban were given a good beating("une sacrée raclée"). The other version is that given by the soldiers themselves(and by anonymous generals). It presents the operation as a shambles, and claims that the French units narrowly escaped destruction. It seems to me that the second version is alltogether more credible, and that the first is more propagandistic. Especially, the claim that 40 Taliban were killed is based on nothing, as only one body was found, and its sole purpose is to give the coalition a better kill ratio. However, both version exist, and they have been equally reported in the press, so it would premature to judge which is more correct. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 21:35, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I see there is a small edit war regarding the result of this battle. Of course neither editor is bothering to use the talk page to give their point of view/sources/references.
I am leaning toward the battle been 'inconclusive' as neither side realised their objective, (the French didn't finish their patrol and the Taliban didn't kill them all).
I wonder what others think the outcome of this battle should be listed as? FFMG (talk) 16:26, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
That's like saying the Colmar Pocket was inconclusive, or D-Day was inconclusive because "some Germans survived". The ambush was successful in its goal, to kill a number of French soldiers, create political havoc and prevent it from its immediate mission. It was a Taliban victory; it's worth noting that the First Battle of Fallujah also has one or two weeks a year where a mini edit-war arises with anons shouting that "The Iraqis didn't win, the United States made a strategic withdrawal!". So far as I can tell, this edit war is equally groundless, nobody would say this was a French victory. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 20:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The comparisons are nonsensical, the objective of D-Day was to get a foothold in France, and the objective of the Colmar Pocket was to remove the German presence in the area. In both cases the objective was achieved and as such can be called a 'victory'.
They have absolutely nothing to do with ambushing some soldiers on a reconnaissance patrol, I am not sure why you even used them as an example to make your point.
So, to really answer the question we need to understand what the objective of both sides was, the French clearly did not achieve their objective to recon the area. But did the Taliban achieve theirs? What do you think their objective was? If it was a simple hit and run they would not have stayed in the area for as many hours as they did. FFMG (talk) 06:25, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we can this a taliban victory. The battle in fact did not end with the evacuation of the french troops. After that, the coalition forces led an assault in order to take the position and recover all the corpses. Eventually, both the Talibans and the coalition forces retreated so I think we can this an indecisive combat. Finally, a few days afterwards, the coalition re-took all the area. Moreover, if the ambush itself clamed the lives of "only" 10-14 talibansn the following counterattack led to the death of more talibans (although we don't know the real number of taliban KIA, the higher estimations rise to about 40 KIA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

And Vimy Ridge didn't result in the complete withdrawal of all enemy forces either; doesn't make it less of a victory in its aims. In this case, it aimed to ambush a roadside convoy, it succeeded. An article about the retaking of the region a week later, would merit a "Coalition victory". When Paris fell, it was a German victory. When it was recaptured, it was an Allied victory. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 15:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
You lack of military knowledge is somewhat laughable.
As I explained to you when you wrongly used D-Day and Colmar Pocket to make your point, using Vimy Ridge is just as nonsensical. The objective of Vimy Ridge was to capture some German held ground to allow further allied advance. So once again, using Vimy Ridge, D-Day or Colmar Pocket has nothing to do with ambushing some soldiers on a reconnaissance patrol.
Maybe part of the problem is you complete lack of understanding of what this ambush was about, (and maybe some WWII battles as well).
It really looks like this ambush was inconclusive as neither side achieved their objective. So rather than randomly naming some WWII battles as comparison, can you tell us where you think the Taliban scored a victory? What was their objectives? And how were they successful? FFMG (talk) 17:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The Afghans are an insurgency, so much like the French Resistance, their goal in launching an attack is to kill the people they attack. They succeeded. Perhaps the better question is to demand of you, what circumstances around this attack would have you consider it a Taliban victory? Do you think the purpose of a roadside ambush was to throw France into upheaval, end French involvement in the war and cause the United States to crumble? It's an ambush, as an ambush, it was successful. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 20:05, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

It would have been a taliban victory if they had routed or destroyed the coalition forces. In fact, when the reinforcements arrived, they did not prove able to defeat them, so if you're not able to defeat someone, you can't call this a "victory". The fact is that there are many things that remain unclear. Considering this, I think we should call this an "indecisive" battle. Just look the article about the Tet offensive. Does it state that it was an American defeat whereas the Americans were demoralized ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


The article refers to the ambushers as "militants" not Taliban. Since the opening of the article says: "The district was considered a successful example of establishing security, and was considered a quiet region despite the known presence of militants loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in remote areas."

But here on the talk page comments keep referring to the opponents as "Taliban". The Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin. Taliban != HIG. The HIG fought the Taliban for their entire regime. A bunch of other groups that had fought against the Taliban happily joined the American coalition. HIG on the other hand seems to have decided the USA was a more serious opponent than the Taliban.

From my reading it is an uneasy alliance.

HIG predates the creation of the Taliban by at least a decade. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan it is reported to have got a big share of the American assistance funneled through the ISI.

Following the ouster of the communists it is reported that the ISI found Gulbuddin Hekmatyar too unruly, and they stopped funding him, and created the Taliban.

During the Soviet occupation there were many anti-Soviet militias in Afghanistan. Millions of Afghans exiles left, and sought refuge in Pakistan and Iran. HIG provided a kind of civil services these refugees needed, something other anti-Soviet militias didn't do. Many Guantanamo captives faced the allegation that their detention was justified by owning an "HIG membership card" -- when what they had was merely and "HIG issued identity card". Afghan refugees in Iran, possibly in Pakistan, who wanted to travel outside of the refugee camps, seek work, had to have some kind of official personal identification. Most Afghans never had any. But the HIG had storefronts, in Iranian border towns, which were de facto HIG consulates. Afghans could go there and pay a fee for an identity card, which said they were an Afghan refugee. Iranian police, who stopped an individual, and asked for their ID papers, accepted these HIG issued identity cards as sufficient proof of their identity.

There are indications that this alliance is going to break down. So, it is a mistake to treat the HIG and the Taliban as if they the same thing. Geo Swan (talk) 14:38, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

A small part of the problem seems to be that at least two insurgent groups claim credit for the attack; but in theory I agree with you, it is a mistake (possibly my own) to refer to them as "Taliban" if they were unrelated to the literal Taliban; should we change such instances to "insurgent victory" for example, while still leaving a smattering of "militants" for literary ease? Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 14:44, 19 July 2009 (UTC)


I have made this revert. A user changed what is pretty consistently called a "Insurgent victory" (which is sourced and footnoted) to "Tactical French Victory" (which cannot seem to be cited as nobody else, except extreme military propaganda claims this) and a "Propaganda coup for the Taliban" which seems POV and dismissive; they set out to ambush a convoy, and they succeeded. It also removed the sentence "It seems almost every 80 talibans their leader have been eliminated in the counter-attack and next day operations." which seemed to make little sense, but if it says what I think it's contradicts all other sources which say 10-15 Taliban were killed....though other sources agree a total of 80 Taliban were involved (why are we including "the next day" in casualty counts for the Taliban in separate attacks? Surely we won't count American soldiers killed the following day?). I also removed the addition "The fighting killed between 20 and 40 civilians" which I couldn't find in the provided French news source (though I am open to correction on that front, my French is far from perfect) - and the statement that the ambush caused "created 2000 refugees" since by its nature, perhaps the retaliation caused refugees, but the ambush itself could not create refugees. I agree the comment about the female soldier was likely a lie by the Taliban, but it is sourced and still worth mentioning. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 14:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you have made many reverts on this page over the past few weeks. This amounts to an edit war, and you would be well advised to stop, as it is against the rules.
Not to comment on the indecisive/victory issue, but there is still some way to go before reaching a definitive conclusion. The one source which you have provided is a rather sensationalist promotional webpage page for a book written by a journalist working for the Flemish men's magazine "P"[ This journalist, described as "fascinated by the Taliban", apparently went to Afghanistan in order to correct Western bias against them. However, the webpage fails signally to bring any new information about the ambush, and bases its claim that it was a French defeat solely on the fact that 10 French soldiers were killed, which is not being disputed. So, if your only source is an ad for a dubious and possibly biased book, you will understand that your case is somewhat less than convincing.
Concerning the claim that a female soldier was killed in the ambush, your position is difficult to agree with. The number of Soldiers killed is well known, and has been reported by many reliable sources. They were all men. On the other hand the only source making this claim is a Taliban commander, relayed by the pro-taliban journalist Joanie De Rijke. However, even she describes him as "barking mad". So unless we are to believe that all the news sources in the world are wrong, and that one insane Taliban commander is right, then the claim is complete BS, and not at all worth mentioning. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 20:32, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Hrm, I think perhaps I explained myself poorly on the "female soldier"; it seems clear no female soldier was killed, but the fact the Taliban used the claim for their own propaganda is notable, so in that vein, the fact a commander produced a heart necklace bears mentioning - although perhaps with a terse reminder that no female soldiers were actually killed. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 02:35, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Stating that it was a "Taliban victory" is highly misleading. The Talibans attacked from an optimal position, had good equipment, were well-prepared; they suffered significantly higher casualties than the French, they failed to completely destroy the French forces, and they were eventually routed. Under what sort of abysmal standard can that be said to be a success? Only from a propaganda point of view it was made profitable.

That is not comparable with, say the Battle of Tora Bora, where the aim of "baddies" was exfiltrating al Qaida members and troops, in which they succeeded.

If your problem is "extreme military propaganda", start with yourself and do not call Taliban "insurgeants", which is typically USAyan-centric langauge, and grossly inaccurate. Rama (talk) 21:57, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I am not an American, and the term "Taliban" is the Western-centric term for what are guerrilla fighters completely detached from the TALIBAN, which was the Student's Movement that formed an Islamic government. To claim that all insurgents are Taliban, is like claiming all NVA are Viet Cong, or all German soldiers were Nazis. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 22:17, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Where did I suggest that you were American? I would not care anyway.
The sources that you use to claim "victory" for these people call them Talibans, how do you conciliate this with your selective use of critical sense? Rama (talk) 22:53, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
The sources are all Western, hence all use "Taliban" because they don't bother distinguishing between Gulbuddin, Sayyaf and Omar. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 22:59, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
I just want to say, (again), that I am not 100% happy with the listed outcome of the battle. You seem to be the only editor who insist that it was an insurgent victory, it is clear that not everything went their way. When it comes to those kind of battles, it is possible to find a reference to claim just about anything, from body count to battle outcome, so we need to use some common sense. As I said previously, I am also not happy with putting the result as a French victory alone, looking at what has been reported, it looks like the Insurgents did not achieve their objectives and neither did the French. If we go on body count alone, the French did a lot better given that they were ambushed. FFMG (talk) 06:30, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


Outcome has been discuss in the section above ...

It's clearly not an insurgent victory ... 80 loss, ground loss, for an 1 versus 5 ambush, three squad size unit versus compagny size insurgent force. Insurgent leaders were killed during the chasing after the blocage of the area.

Worth, the casualty conduct an heavy reinforcement of french force in Kapissa, with heavy artillery, attack helicopter, light tank, more caombat troops, etc. to prepare others battalion size opposition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suoo (talkcontribs) 19:29, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Late source after one year work 80 talibans killed, most leader killed ... position held, in my mind "taliban victory" is not pertinent. Result "inconclusive", should be the most adequate description of the result, ISAF tactical victory but talibans successful media and politic propaganda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suoo (talkcontribs) 21:09, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Like I said in my comment before, I agree with Sherurcij, just like he said the ambush was a victory and it has been referenced. This article is called the Uzbin Valley ambush, it covers the ambush, not NATO operations that came after it that defeated the Taliban. However, if it's such a big problem for you I should at least propose a compromise solution, for bot you Suoo and Sherurcij. How about this, we say it is a Coalition victory, but a Pyrrhic victory, since nine of the 10 French soldiers killed where part of the initial force that was ambushed and 21 of the initial force were killed, that's 30 of 100, a 30 percent casualty ratio incurred during the ambush, would you agree to that?LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 02:39, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand how the ambush was a "Pyrrhic victory for the Coalition", the ambush was undoubtedly a insurgent victory; follow-up retaliation operations were NATO victories. 04:12, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I see in your latest revision you added the comment, "the ambush was a victory, as heavily referenced"[4], and now you added "the ambush was undoubtedly a insurgent victory", in the two references that you used [5][6] would you mind telling us where it says that it was an overwhelming insurgent victory for the insurgents? the Globe article seems to talk about how ill prepared the French were and the seems to be a personal account that is somewhat hard to verify. I am starting to think that your claims are not referenced at all. FFMG (talk) 06:17, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
The G&M article in the footnotes also refers to Uzbin as one of "their victories" that's what, four citations that it was an insurgent victory, zero that it was a NATO victory? Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 06:46, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Hey? Where do you see that? In the reference you gave, the only time the word victories appear is in "...But senior Western officials say this was a disinformation campaign by the Taliban, who notoriously exaggerate their victories..."[7].
I have no idea what other 'four citations' you are talking about, I am talking about the 2 references you keep giving, in the G&M article you are using[8], where does it say it was an insurgent victory? In the Degeus book review [9] where does it say it was an insurgent victory?
If neither references mention it then they should both be removed as they are not referencing your claims. FFMG (talk) 07:08, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
"senior Western officials say this was a disinformation campaign by the Taliban, who notoriously exaggerate their victories.", "Although, according to Qazi Suliman, police chief of the Sorobi district, the Taliban had also lost thirteen men, this victory was the high point on the list of achievements". You might find Ctrl+F handy in the future, to help you find keywords in a document. In this case, "Victory". Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 07:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Ctrl+F has nothing to do with it, try and remain civil please, in the G&M[10], the word 'victory' does not appear, I quotted the closest reference to the word you are using as a reference to an insurgence victory.
As for the other reference, (the one that uses the word victory _once_),[11], is at it? Is that all the reference(s) you have? Is that really what you mean by heavily referenced? I am sorry to say that this is not a great reference at all. Where are the other 4 references you just claimed to have?
Where does it say it was an insurgent victory in the G&M[12] article you used as a reference? FFMG (talk) 08:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I see that you are making the same claims again, heavily-sourced conclusion[13], would you mind telling us _where_ does it say insurgent victory in both the ref you keep reverting to [14][15].
Either that or please remove your unreferenced claims, you claims are misleading the readers. FFMG (talk) 19:39, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
"senior Western officials say this was a disinformation campaign by the Taliban, who notoriously exaggerate their victories.", "Although, according to Qazi Suliman, police chief of the Sorobi district, the Taliban had also lost thirteen men, this victory was the high point on the list of achievements". I can also find you dozens, if not hundreds, of sources referring to this as a French and/or NATO "loss". So "French victory" or "NATO victory" are entirely unsubstantiated except by certain WP editors who like to believe they can spin anything. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 19:45, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
In my mind "Inconclusive" should be the good word. Uzbin valley is now quiet, and troops there has got heavy reinfocement, many ANA FOB and COP have been installed. It's not a NAto victory neither a taliban victory. Too many loss with not enough gain for insurgent, and loss estimated too high for French. Even if 9 on 30 ... in a 1 vs 5 engagement is not absolutly heavy for this type of engagement. The platoon carmin 2 hold the ground despite loss, 1h30 under fire without reinforcement or fire support. Insurgents were unable to retreat/disperse without heavy casualties. Another about how quiet is the situation in Uzbin valley . Suoo (talk) 20:46, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Sherurcij, you are attempting to source your "Taliban victory" with an article that has been discredited to many other respects. If we are to believe that this is a Taliban victory, we are logically bound to believe these stories of a female French soldier taken prisoner, etc. This simply does not hold water.
Furthermore, stamping "victory", "defeat" or "inconclusive" is in the vast majority of cases a futile and childish endeavour. Stick to the facts: the Talibans were rooted out by vastly superior firepower; casualties are more or less even, slightly more Taliban losses; the Talibans have durably lost the ground. The Talibans claim to be happy about the outcome, and the French obviously are not (mind that the tale as told by the Talibans is not tendencious, but downright delirious). But Whatever the feelings of the French, from a military point of view, NATO prevailed. The Talibans were quickly facing a vastly superior firepower against which nobody could possibly do anything. There is no shame in being vanquished by heavy mortar, helicopters and airplanes when one has only light infantry weapons, but saying that the Taliban were victorious is just wrong. By these standards, the Battle of Camarón would be a French victory. I understand the will to resist the disturbing propaganda to which we are subject in the West, but that does not mean that we have to be symetrically stupid. Rama (talk) 22:01, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
PS: Note that this discussion is rather interesting, tough tiresome, because I believe it is a concrete case of the sort of malaise felt in the metropole in a post-colonial strugle. NATO is clearly not winning the war, though it does win (almost) all battles. The feeling that the war is not being won, or even is being lost, engenders a need to attribute the loss to defeats of the ground. In this type of war ("Moder warfare", "psychological war", "counter-insurection", "counter-revolution", call it what you want...), there is no need to lose battles to end up loosing the war. The French won all the battler of the war of Algeria, and ended up losing Algeria. Rama (talk) 22:10, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

And so back to my proposition, I agree that this was a substantial propaganda victory for the Taliban because they killed more NATO soldiers than they are usually capable, but again the Taliban were the ones that retrated in defeat following the French reinforcements that came. So I again am suggesting to put Coalition Pyrrhic victory, because again 30 percent of the initial French force was put out of action. And as for your comment I'm not sure I understand how the ambush was a "Pyrrhic victory for the Coalition", in that case I suggest to rename the article Battle of the Uzbin Valley.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 07:56, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

What about simply describing the outcome? All these "victory this", "defeat that" strike ma as opinioned judgements. What happened is that NATO kept the ground, that the Talibans had more casualties, and that the French public opinion was shaken. These are undisputable facts, that can be properly sourced. Rama (talk) 09:09, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that's the problem with an ambush, you cannot really have a meaningful outcome to one, (apart from total destruction of one party I guess).
I doubt that the insurgents were really hoping for anything else but been pushed back and loosing a lot of men, they are not stupid, they know that the French have air support both from their own airforce and from the US/UK, there was not real tactical reason for ambushing the French on that day. It was probably a propaganda attack to try and force the French public to demand that the soldiers be returned home, but, as it turned out, it did not really work.
Also, it was not a Pyrrhic victory at all, there are still plenty of French troops in the area/Afghanistan should they really wanted to carry on the fight. As it turned out, they returned to the area and clear it eventually. FFMG (talk) 10:36, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
It was not a Pyrrhic victory at all??? o.O ??? It was a Pyrrhic victory for the French, since, and I think I am saying this the third time, a third of the initial French force was decimated. It doesn't matter if there are plenty of French troops in that area, excuse me but your remark has no logical sense at all. The whole French army in the country was not involved in the battle, just those 100 troops from the initial force and the reinforcements later, who participated only in a small part of the battle at that. It was a pyrrhic victory for those victors who participated in that battle, it was a pyrrhic victory for those 100 men, and about your remark As it turned out, they returned to the area and clear it eventually., this article is about this one battle and not French operations that were at a later date. Listen, as far as I see it you are not open for a compromise and no solution except for the one you are pushing is acceptable for you since you have argued with everything the others have said. I agree 80 percent with Sherurcij (the Taliban bloodied the Coalition's nose in the battle and made a huge propaganda victory of the battle), but I also agree with Rama that it was also on the overall level a Coalition victory since the Taliban retreated from the battlefield following the coming of the French reinforcements and I would agree with his proposal of explaining the result of the battle, so again I propose to put the result as a Coalition pyrrhic victory but also to add (per Rama's propoposal) an additional explanation. So we put for example in the result section something like this Coalition pyrrhic victory (Coalition troops defeated the attacking force, however they incurred 30% casualties. Taliban propaganda victory.) And a proposal made towards you Sherurcij, about the wording in the name of the article, as I said, change the name to Battle of the Uzbin valley, because as it is that's what's making part of the problem over this mostly.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 11:26, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what you are talking about, a third of the force was decimated? according to the article there was "~100 initially, with another 400 reinforcements", so that's between 10% to 2% dead depending on the number you choose to use. If you take the wounded into account then it would be 30%, (or 7%), not quite the definition of a Pyrrhic victory, wounded are not "decimated", they were not decimated and they did not suffer irreplaceable casualties, (as it turned out a lot of reinforcements arrived at a later stage and they were part of the Ambush itself).
Also, where did I say I disagree with Rama, (or anyone apart from Sherurcij)? I don't agree with Sherurcij and I certainly don't agree with any of the references he offered either. Whatever the outcome of the discussion here, we cannot have invalid references and then have Sherurcij claims "heavily-sourced conclusion"[16] to excuse his permanent reverts.
I also don't think the ultimate point in Wikipedia is to compromise on articles, we have to put what is best for the article, if putting no results is a better reflection of the the ambush then so be it. FFMG (talk) 12:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

32 dismounted troop, 9 killed ... after be wound and continue fighting. 21 wound ... but part of them have juste "sound trauma", they were count as wound. The firesupport team 8 troop hold the ground around the village. The other platoon, 40 troops, has no wounded ... and interdicted insurgents descending near the village or besiege the first platoon. This situation was hold one hour and a half, before, mortar and autocanon allow the counter offensive mouvement to collect the wound. Most killed were caused by the late care due to the imbrication of the most advanced combat group and the insurgent, and the inability to land and medevac chopper. Difficult to believe in a vicory even in the talibans propaganda.Suoo (talk) 20:35, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

In the 30 percent that I spoke of FFMG I also included the wounded and you are still talking about those reinforcements, Sherurcij has made a valid point that the name of this article is Uzbin Valley ambush, this article should be mainly about the battle between those initial 100 and the Taliban, but since that's such a big problem for you that's why I proposed again that we change the name to The Battle of the Uzbin Valley, however I am still sticking with Sherurcij that this was more of a Taliban victory than a Coalition victory since the French sustained a large number of casualties, again 30 percent of the 100 men that were ambushed were put out of action, stop talking about those 400 reinforcements, they came in after most of the fighting had already been at it's end. They only mopped up. You are constantly pointing out to the strategic gains the French made months later, that has nothing to do with this specific battle, we are talking about this operation, not those that came after it. I am trying to compromise with you on this since, as far as I see it, we have a tie. FFMG and Suoo are for a Coalition victory (which is unrealistic), me and Sherurcij are for a Insurgent victory (which is per me only partialy realistic) and we have Rama who is for a compromise. I said partialy realistic because tacticaly the French did won the day but that day they strategicaly lost since the Taliban were still in control of most of the area for several more months and it was a decisive Propaganda victory for them. That's why I am open for a compromise, put Coalition victory but add Pyrrhic. And I did not mean decimated - the men were decimated - I ment decimated - the initial 100-men unit was decimated, again 30 percent casualties. And your last comment We have to put what is best for the article, if putting no results is a better reflection of the the ambush then so be it. Please explain to me HOW is it a better reflection. Also, you are constantly removing the references Sherurcij has added which, at least, partialy confirm it was a strategic Taliban victory. How is it putting an unreferenced result better than a referenced result? You are going against Wikipedia rules. And I think it would be best to go with this case to an arbitery commitee.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 03:35, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Can you please show where I 'constantly' removed any link?
  • Can you please tell us where in the references it clearly says, (according to Sherurcij with overwhelming evidence), that it was an insurgent victory?
  • Where did I say I was for a coalition victory?
  • If you don't want to talk about the 400 men that came in reinforcement then you are welcome to remove them from the article.
  • Whichever way you look at it, 30% is not a Pyrrhic victory, and even then, it probably does not really apply to an ambush, but that's debating the meaning of Pyrrhic victory itself, we seem to disagree on what qualifies as a Pyrrhic victory.
  • As for my last comment, re-read it, if it is better for the article to put no result, (because maybe there was no conclusive results), then it is better than inventing one for the sake of having a win/loose written there. FFMG (talk) 05:09, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm game for ArbCom/RfC/3O, until then I've just left the "result" blank. People can draw their own conclusions for a couple days. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 03:55, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
You are telling me that in this day and age a 30% casualty ratio for a highly trained modern fighting force, such as the French army is, is not a Pyrrhic victory? If it were an Afghan or Pakistani unit ok I would agree, but a French army unit, which has some of the best trained NATO troops in the world? About your comment Sherurcij after reverting me I can't imagine how being ambushed is a tactical victory, that's the one thing I don't agree with you, if this article is called Uzbin Valley ambush than ok, treat this as a simple ambush, but the problem is that most of the other editors treat this as a battle not an ambush, and there I would agree with them that this should be treated as a battle not just simple an ambush. Tacticaly the Taliban lost this battle since the French managed not to be overrun, but strategicaly and in the propaganda sense this WAS a Taliban victory since the Taliban held much of the valley for several more months. I think an anoymous user put in the result section a few days ago French Forces hold the ground but suffered heavy casualties, I would rewrite this and put French forces defeat the attacking force but suffer heavy casualties. Taliban propaganda victory.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 11:06, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I am telling you that, in this day and age, or any day and age the definition of Pyrrhic victory does not change. On the day there were many soldier left to fight, the next day there was many more soldiers left to fight, and, if need be, a week later there would have been a lot more soldiers ready to fight.
But, as we are only talking about this ambush, 70% of the force present was still ready and whiling to fight, that, in my book is not a Pyrrhic victory.
As for the rest of your comment, it makes no sense, I am not even sure what you are trying to say, I have no idea what result you are actually favouring any more. FFMG (talk) 19:09, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

30% of what ??? 2 french platoon ... 40 + 40 troops. 2 ANA squad 15 + 15 troops. 1 US army squad + JTAC 12 troops. 9 killed of 122 => 7% ... most killed were in the first squad as in Wanat battle ... the weak point pay the highest tribe. Insurgent have allways the initiative as they are hidden in population ... so ambush are easy and lethal when opponent make wrong tactical choice. However, patrol was not defeat, QRF, the other half of the compagny, 20 vehicule 80 troop were in combat 45 minute later and counter-attack. Another compagny size element and medevac element, were deployed later to collect the wounded and look for dead bodies. The objective of an ambush is to kill everyone, are most of the opponent ... and chasing others or disappear. insurgents didn't kill most of the patrol, neither disappear in the night. Why ... cause the patrol continued fighting, JTAC providing early air support, forbidden insurgent to move easily back ... and force them to keep contact to avoid bombing.Suoo (talk) 14:50, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

I have never read anything suggesting the insurgents were "forced" to close-combat fighting by NATO, rather they chose to do it as a tactic to disallow NATO airstrikes to intervene. Likewise, it sounds very much like Retcon to suggest that JTAC's ineffective air support was "to forbid the insurgents to retreat" when everything I've seen suggests that the NATO forces were the ones trapped by a superior force and trying to re-assemble and rescue their pinned-down colleagues. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 15:18, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Who is talking about ineffective fire support ?! The first JTAC do what he has to do, require emergercy in flight F15 support and the take off of A-10 for close support. F15 cannot use their primary weapon cause they were overkill... du to imbrication of the first members of the first squad, not of the hole troops. Keep contact indefinitively to disallow bombing or don't flee to be killed ... what's the difference? They were unable to cut contact even with the dusk ... and are forced to fight till dawn, not their choice, but un large counter offensive to regain highest position and disallow to flee safely. Unable to conduct an hit and run engament is not a victory Suoo (talk) 16:28, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
The Afghans consider it a victory. NATO considers it a loss. Wikipedia editors claim it's the other way around. Beautiful. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 16:52, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
"The Afghans consider it a victory. NATO considers it a loss." Do you have a reference for thoes claim? Or shall we take them out of both the references you keep using[17][18]? FFMG (talk) 19:13, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Your comment On the day there were many soldier left to fight, the next day there was many more soldiers left to fight, and, if need be, a week later there would have been a lot more soldiers ready to fight. So, according to you it would have been a Phyrric victory only if most of the whole French contingent was killed or wounded and not just that unit that was involved. That's the problem, you are looking at this as the whole French contingent of ISAF was involved, well it was not, you should be looking only at those guys that WERE involved in the battle. Modern-day armies have a different standard on how many casualties they sustain in a battle than other un-highly trained ones. You don't see French or US soldiers being killed 20 or 30 per a battle, while the Afghan, Pakistani or Iraqi fighting units do have that high of a casualty ratio. You are comparing a highly-trained French paratrooper unit to a Afghan army unit, or even a Taliban unit for that matter. 10-15 Taliban killed in this battle? That's insignificent to them, they don't care how many they loose, while the French do. Also, you are not even sure what I am are trying to say at all? Do you know the difference between a tactical victory and a strategic one? Tacticaly the French defeated the Taliban since they had to retreat after the reinforcements arrived and didn't mannage to overrun the ambushed unit, strategicaly the Taliban won since after the battle the French withdrew to their base following those heavy casualties and the valley was still mostly controlled by the Taliban for several more months. That is the difference. Oh hell, I don't care anymore, I'm done fighting with you, just put that the result was Indecisive and everybody be happy. I'm signing off from this discussion for good. If there is some kind of vote let me know so I can just cast mine and be done with this.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 04:30, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
It does not matter how a modern army fights and how others fight, you cannot change the definition of a term simply because a the life of a French soldier is seemingly worth more than an Afgan insurgent.
I am sorry that you don't understand what a Pyrrhic victory is, but I cannot keep explaining it to you.
As for the difference between a tactical vs strategic victory, if you read this very discussion from the beginning you will see that I am the one who mentions it, so I think I know the difference is.
But I see that you make various accusations/claims in your replies and when I ask that you justify them you quietly move on to the next random point. FFMG (talk) 06:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I do not make accusations or claims, I am stating facts, and I do not quietly move on to the next random point, I have been persistently stating that this was a 50-50 win for both sides, thus indecisive. And like I said I am leaving this discussion and you call upon me only if this thing is put to a vote.LiquidOcelot24 (talk) 06:36, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Really? I even wrote it in bullet points asking to verify some of those 'facts', (and that was just some of the claims).
You have not consistently stated 50-50, either that of your understanding of a Pyrrhic victory is even worse than first assumed. FFMG (talk) 07:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Some excellent additions by User:Rama in the past couple days, a lot of wonderful material. Could we just make sure each paragraph has a footnote citing its exact source (I know, the sentences usually say "The X said that..."). Also, I'm a bit concerned by "On the other hand, Talebans being in possession of military equipment was a pattent proof that a number of bodies had been abandonned for some time, and raised suspicions that some soldiers have been captured alive and excecuted." - is that in the source? I'm not sure how being in possession of military equipment is proof that bodies were abandoned...or that they were executed. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 14:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

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